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Last updated
December 04, 2002
12:35:25 AM
The Lost World


The Lost World

Classification: Rated PG-13
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Written by: Michael Crichton, David Koepp
Sound Mix: DTS
Running Time: 134 minutes
Jeff Goldblum - Dr. Ian Malcom
Julianne Moore - Dr. Sarah Harding
Pete Postlethwaite - Roland Tembo
Arliss Howard - Peter Ludlow
Vince Vaughn - Nick Van Owen
Richard Attenborough - John Hammond
Double Action Rating Conventional Rating Laughter Utilization (%) BIM Rating (1-10) Antic Level Buffer Zone (1-10)
75 8 DPC 5

What could be better than dinosaurs terrorizing people on a remote island? A dinosaur that terrorizes a populated city. That's the best part of this film. Unfortunately, you have to wait until the last 15 minutes to get to these choice laughs. But there are a number of good scenes to get you there, so the wait is worth it.

There were many articles that mentioned this movie only cost roughly 75 million dollars to make. Spielberg reportedly stated that he is amazed by the lack of control many studios have over movie budgets these days. With all the 100+ million dollar movies, he was committed to making The Lost World within a set, inexpensive budget, and he succeeded. No small wonder. The plot was lifted from the first film, a few modifications were made to accommodate the politically correct crowd, and the special effects were actually less impressive - simply a greater quantity. This was truly surprising to me since his past films each offered something unique and entertaining - even in sequel form, like the Indiana Jones series.

In short, Ian Malcom (Jeff Goldblum) is summoned to John Hammond's mansion, and learns that the company has been taken over by Hammond's nephew Peter. He also learns that there was a second island, where the dinosaurs were bred. Peter plans to take the dinosaurs off the island and bring them back to the US and open a zoo in San Diego.

Hammond wants Ian to go to the new island and determine the status of the dinosaurs. Ian, refuses except that he finds out his girlfriend Sarah is already there studying them. So Ian rushes to the island to rescue his girlfriend with a small team of observers. Little do they realize that Peter has plans to send another team to the island to retrieve several dinosaurs for immediate return to the mainland. The hilarity ensues.

The arrival of Jeff Goldblum on the island is similar to that of the original film, where the team first encounters the roaming dinosaurs. The sense of "ooh, ahhh" is actually mocked by Goldblum's character, and I was laughing at how poor the special effects were. All the fuzziness, lack of color control, shading mistakes that I've seen in most of the digital effects these days were present as well. I will say however, that the live action robotic dinosaurs were impressive.

The scene where the T-Rexes are pushing the trailer over the cliff is a direct combination of two scenes from the first film, where a T-Rex trashes a Ford Explorer with kids inside it, and a scene where the evil fat programmer tries to pull his Jeep out of a mess with a winch cable (alright, maybe not so similar on that part). It's also similar right down to the part where the main characters are hanging by a rope as the vehicle comes crashing down around them. There's actually another scene where a car flies into a tree that two guys are sitting in which forces them to run away as the car crashes down behind them. This is the same way the characters in the first film escaped the Explorer lodged in the tree. Original scenes? I think not.

One of the aspects of the first Jurassic Park that I hated was this superhuman intelligence that the velociraptors were portrayed as having, and the terror that they inflicted on the characters as a result of their prowess. Really, give me dual Berettas and I would prepare some velociraptor souffl�. Spielburg again fell back to this as a cheap method of extracting terror on the screen as The Lost World's main avenue for violence stemmed from these small dinosaurs chasing everyone around. The depiction of these animals as being "unstoppable" made me want to retch my guts out.

Another really pathetic theme that persisted throughout the movie was the notion of "these animals are innocent and we should do whatever it takes to protect them". I especially loved every scene where characters sympathetic to these dinosaurs were either terrorized themselves or witnessed dinosaurs committing grisly murders. And still the characters would try to save the dinosaurs from harm. Ridiculous.

The character most guilty of this bleeding heart sympathy was Sarah (Julianne Moore). She almost gets herself and her companions killed several times throughout the film, and unfortunately survives. I screamed in wild laughter when the T-Rex's thanked her for saving their baby by mauling their trailer over the cliff and ripping one of their team members apart.

I'm reminded of a video clip from "When Animals Attack" where an animal rights activist is protesting the cruelty of the running of the bulls in Pomplonia, Spain. The activist finds herself caught in an alley and the bull turns on her and virtually mauls her to death. Make no mistake about it - animal cruelty has no place in society today. However, if I'm ever faced with a situation where I can save my life or the lives of others from dangerous creatures, I'll choose human life over the animals anytime.

Spielburg sure saved the movie studios some money with this film. The computer effects were second rate, and the plot borrowed heavily from its predecessor and other standard monster movies. I guess he should have bred some hyper intelligent velociraptors to help him write the screenplay. Most likely the raptors would have turned him down, since they would have other goals - winning the nobel prize, curing cancer, eliminating world hunger, etc.


Bookmarked Scenes:

Killer Gumbies
A little girl wanders a way from her pretentious parents on the island and accidentally runs into a pack of baby Velociraptors. At first she finds them cute and shares her food with them, but quickly realizes that little creatures that dine on your flesh shouldn't be invited to tea parties...
Take That, Fossey
Sarah takes some up close pictures of a Stegosaurus and her camera's film rewinding noise upsets the parents. They swat at her with their tails, nearly impaling her and she briefly experiences SRH from creatures she once thought were harmless.
Don't Break the Ice
Sarah and her friends are trapped inside an double trailer as it precariously hangs over the edge of the cliff. She is knocked unconscious and falls to the back of the trailer, towards the cliffs below. Her fall is broken by a glass window. Her screams of terror as it cracks with her every move, plus her race against an object about to fall and break it completely are hysterical.
Tunnel of Love

Sarah, Ian, and Nick are cling to a rope for their dear lives as the trailer slips off the edge of the cliff and they manage to stay in the "center" of it as it slides past them.

Make a Wish
Two T-Rex's torture and tease the "gizmo" guy in his truck who is unable to use his weapon to protect himself. They rip off the top of the SUV, one grabs him in the mouth up to his waist, and the other grabs his legs. The dinosaurs wish for a cut of the films profits, and then pull his body apart.
Dino Toe Jam
A T-Rex chases the party of dinosaur captors and steps on one of them. The man gives a stupendous performance of "Why Me" and his body is crushed into a lifeless pulp. What warrants SDSPL in this scene is that the mans body sticks to the T-Rex's foot and is mashed in two subsequent steps before slipping off.
The group of dinosaur hunters attempts to flee through some tall grass. The raptors are actually lurking in the field, and snatch each man one by one from below. Their bodies disappear into the grass as quickly as groundhogs on steroids.
Dr. Malcom's daughter gathers up her courage to take on a velociraptor in a small room. As the raptor leaps toward the rafters and pipes where the characters are hiding, she uses a pipe as an uneven bar and swings gratuitously in circles around it, finally swinging and kicking the raptor through a window. Ridiculous, and worthy of SDSPL.
Dog Meat
An unsuspecting family wakes up to find a T-Rex in their backyard, drinking their pool water, and discovers it has dined on their beloved dog. The perfect touch to the scene is the dogs chain dangling from it's mouth, still attached to the dog house. Finally, a movie that doesn't pull any punches and gives DA viewers a scene worthy of SDSPL.
Speed II
A T-Rex runs throughout the city, and actually knocks a bus around with its head. The bus driver should have stayed above 50mph.

*Special Notes:

At last - we have a film that is not afraid to kill the dog. In so many films in recent months, such as Twister, Daylight, Independence Day, Volcano, and Dante's Peak, they each had a dog which survived impossible situations.

This time, as mentioned in the bookmarked scene "Dog Meat", the family puppy has fetched his last paper...


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